About Thurston Thrives  

LOGO: Thurston Thrives!

News and Announcements

  • Our community’s initiative to improve the health of all residents will be guided by a coordinating council as more and more people continue to act on the strategies developed in 2013-2014.  The Thurston Thrives Coordinating Council (TTCC) will have its first meeting, convened by the Thurston County Chamber Foundation as fiscal agent, on April 23, 2015.  The initial ten (10) members of the Council,

    • Three (3) members from Business (Doug DeForest, Thurston Transit Oriented Development; David Schaffert, Thurston County Chamber of Commerce; and Cheryl Selby, Vivala);
    • Three (3) members from Government (Dennis McVey, City of Rainier; Jeannine Roe, City of Olympia; and Sandra Romero, Thurston County Commissioner);
    • Three (3) members from Philanthropy (Liz Davis, NW Venture Philanthropy; Paul Knox, United Way of Thurston County; Norma Schuiteman, The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound);
    • One (1) member from the Thurston Asset Building Coalition (Schelli Slaughter, Family Support Center);

    will be joined by the nominees from the Action Teams, and an education sector representative, who are anticipated to be confirmed at that first meeting:

    • Meghan Sullivan, TOGETHER! from Child & Youth Resilience, Community Resilience & Education action hub;
    • Dr. Kevin Haughton, Physicians of SW Washington, from Clinical Care;
    • Karen Messmer, Olympia Safe Streets, from Community Design;
    • Christina Daniels, Puget Sound Capital, from Economy;
    • Art Starry, Thurston County Public Heath and Social Services, from Environment;
    • Robert Coit, Thurston County Food Bank, from Food;
    • Bud Blake, Thurston County Commissioner, from Housing;
    • Tammie Jensen-Tabor, Tumwater School District, Education.

    Three (3) additional members, including two (2) at-large community representatives, are expected to be selected by the TTCC thereafter. 

  • As of the start of February 2015, the community is now forming the Thurston Thrives Coordinating Council, backbone structure for the initiative in its new implementation phase.  On December 9, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners approved the recommendation from the November 5, 2014 retreat to establish this structure to shepherd Thurston Thrives from this point forward.  The TT Coordinating Council is a public/private partnership designed to support the initiative’s various action hubs in continuous communication, measurement of progress, and promotion.  The Thurston County Chamber Foundation has agreed to serve as fiscal agent for the Coordinating Council.  For more details on this new structure, and the nomination process for members that is now open, click here... to open the FAQ document [PDF].  

  • Members of the Community Design Action Team, Thurston Regional Planning Council, other local private and public partners and hundreds of residents celebrated on December 13th the opening of the Chehalis Western Trail final bridge over the gap of major streets and I-5 at the Lacey/Olympia line.  Experience the new connection yourself on foot, bicycle or other active transportation – it’s between Lilly and Sleater-Kinney Roads on Pacific Ave., with close-by commercial (Music 6000 and South Sound Center) and public (Chambers Lake Park on 14th) parking… or just ride the Woodland Trail or Chehalis-Western to it (the trails now connect with a roundabout!) – it’s a great new way to get active and go places.  For more information on the dedication ceremony, click here…

  • The Thurston County Board of Health with the Thurston Thrives Advisory Council and Action Team Members held their first annual retreat on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at the Thurston County Fairgrounds Expo Center.  The meetings of the Board, Advisory Council members, Action Team members and other supporters in the last two months have focused on charting the course for Phase 2 of Thurston Thrives, with particular attention to connections, gaps and opportunities among the action areas and recommending a coordinating structure to sustain, promote and measure essential elements of this initiative to improve the health of our community.    For meeting information and materials, click here...

  • All Thurston Thrives Action Teams presented summaries of their strategies and noteworthy actions to the Board of Health and Thurston Thrives Advisory Council at the September 9, 2014 Board of Health Meeting.  To see video of the meeting, click hereTo see the meeting materials, click here... Links to the blogs, where you can join the discussion of each of the action teams who have presented their strategies, can be found at the action teams' pages.

  • The Thurston Thrives initiative officially launched at the April 9, 2013 Thurston County Board of Health meeting.
    • Read the news release about the launch of Thurston Thrives.
    • Meet the newly appointed 13-member Thurston Thrives Advisory Council that will work with the Thurston County Board of Health to develop an action agenda impacting community health.
  • April 2014 was Public Health Month in Thurston County. It is also marked the one year anniversary of Thurston Thrives, the Board of Health’s initiative to boost the health of everyone in our community. Click review a summary of work last spring to move our community’s health forward through Thurston Thrives.

What is Thurston Thrives?

The Thurston County Board of Health is joining with community leaders from business, education, city government, neighborhoods, local charities, social and medical care groups to honor what we do for our families' health, to celebrate our collective efforts, and find ways to do even better together. They call it Thurston Thrives!

Thurston Thrives is a project aimed at bringing together community partners of Thurston County around the work we share. One of the main focuses of the project is to ensure that our county is thriving through the collaboration on the public health and social services that we bring to our community, to honor those who make Thurston County a healthy and safe place to live, and to align efforts to make an even bigger difference in the health of our community. The purpose is to engage our leaders across the board to move forward an action agenda we can all believe in to improve health for all Thurston County residents.


When it comes to health, our community is recognizing the many ways we can promote it in our daily lives. We can build health into how we live, learn, work and play.

How can you participate?

Improving health is not a mystery, really. It takes effort not just from doctors, and not just from government. It takes action by all parts of the community. Some of this we commonly associate with health: Medical care, social services and the environment. But it is also things we do not always think about as health: Education, jobs and housing.

We will be reaching out across our community to achieve these connections and to align efforts behind common goals. We want to build on what is already going on. What is new in Thurston Thrives is keeping better in touch with each other's progress, and supporting each other's work.

Everyone has a part to play in the health of our community - we hope you will join us to engage this strategic approach. Because a healthy community is something we all believe in.

  • To sign up for email updates about Thurston Thrives, click here. When filling out the form, please include your name, email and any other contact information you want us to have.

Join Us!



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  • Click here...To sign up for email updates about Thurston Thrives. When filling out the form, please include your name, email and any other contact information you want us to have.
  • Chris Hawkins at 360-867-2513 or Email
This page last updated: 03/31/15